View the best small cars to find the right car for your budget. With our rankings, you can find a great model that is fuel efficient, fun to drive, and reliable. Read detailed reviews, view photos, and compare prices to make sure you get a great price on your next car. 

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Kia Soul Image
  • MSRP: $16,100 - $35,950
  • MPG: 25 City / 30 Hwy
#1

2017 Kia Soul

The 2017 Kia Soul’s distinctive look will help you stand out from the crowded compact class. It’s not just about looks, though. The Soul ... Read full review»

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U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.9
Critics' Rating:9.0
Performance:8.0
Interior:8.6
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 4_5
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Mazda Mazda3 Image
  • MSRP: $17,845 - $24,945
  • MPG: 27 City / 37 Hwy
#1

2017 Mazda Mazda3

You'll have lots of fun behind the wheel of a 2017 Mazda3. It's one of the best performing compact cars, with precise steering, strong ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.9
Critics' Rating:9.5
Performance:9.1
Interior:8.1
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 3_0
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Chevrolet Bolt Image
  • MSRP: $36,620 - $40,905
  • MPG: N/A
#3

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

The all-new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt rewrites the electric car playbook, providing over 230 miles of driving range per charge and oodles of high-tech convenience ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.8
Critics' Rating:9.1
Performance:8.9
Interior:8.3
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 3_5
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Honda Civic Image
  • MSRP: $18,740 - $28,300
  • MPG: 31 City / 40 Hwy
#3

2017 Honda Civic

The Honda Civic sets the standard for the compact car class. It is comfortable, well-equipped, elegantly styled, and has excellent safety ratings. The 2017 ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.8
Critics' Rating:9.1
Performance:8.7
Interior:8.3
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 3_5
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Honda Fit Image
  • MSRP: $16,090 - $21,365
  • MPG: 29 City / 36 Hwy
#3

2017 Honda Fit

The 2017 Honda Fit surpasses subcompact car rivals in many categories. It offers versatile cargo space, great fuel economy, and a spacious and comfortable ... Read full review»

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U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.8
Critics' Rating:9.4
Performance:8.0
Interior:8.5
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 3_5
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Toyota Prius Image
  • MSRP: $24,685 - $30,015
  • MPG: 54 City / 50 Hwy
#6

2017 Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius ranks highly in the crowded and competitive compact car class. Its phenomenal fuel economy has brought millions of buyers into showrooms ... Read full review»

Best Cars for the Money Winner

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.7
Critics' Rating:9.1
Performance:7.9
Interior:8.1
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 4_0
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Volkswagen GTI Image
  • MSRP: $24,995 - $35,195
  • MPG: 24 City / 34 Hwy
#6

2017 Volkswagen GTI

The 2017 Volkswagen GTI ranks high on our list of best compact cars because of its ability to blur the line between small sports ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.7
Critics' Rating:9.5
Performance:8.8
Interior:8.4
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 2_5
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Chevrolet Volt Image
  • MSRP: $33,220 - $37,570
  • MPG: 43 (2016) City / 42 (2016) Hwy
#8

2017 Chevrolet Volt

The 2017 Chevrolet Volt charges into the second year of its generation with spry road manners that challenge the norm of the humdrum plug-in ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.6
Critics' Rating:9.2
Performance:8.5
Interior:8.3
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 2_5
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Volkswagen Golf Image
  • MSRP: $19,895 - $40,475
  • MPG: 25 City / 35 Hwy
#9

2017 Volkswagen Golf

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf strikes a great balance between fun and function. It’s a pleasure to drive and comes loaded with high-tech gadgets, but ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.5
Critics' Rating:9.3
Performance:8.4
Interior:8.5
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 2_5
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Chevrolet Sonic Image
  • MSRP: $15,145 - $21,215
  • MPG: 25 City / 33 Hwy
#10

2017 Chevrolet Sonic

The 2017 Chevrolet Sonic comes loaded with standard features that few other subcompacts have, including a rearview camera and Apple CarPlay. It also has ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:8.6
Performance:8.1
Interior:8.0
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 3_5
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Ford Focus Image
  • MSRP: $16,775 - $36,120
  • MPG: 25 City / 34 Hwy
#10

2017 Ford Focus

The 2017 Ford Focus performs decently in our compact car rankings, but it’s getting on in age as other newer, updated competitors surpass it. ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:9.0
Performance:8.5
Interior:7.8
Safety:9.4
Reliability: 2_5
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Kia Forte Image
  • MSRP: $16,600 - $26,000
  • MPG: 25 City / 34 Hwy
#10

2017 Kia Forte

The 2017 Kia Forte has more than you may expect from a compact car. There's nothing small about its passenger or cargo space, and ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:8.7
Performance:7.4
Interior:8.5
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 3_5
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Toyota Prius Prime Image
  • MSRP: $27,100 - $33,100
  • MPG: N/A
#10

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

The 2017 Prius Prime is a new addition to Toyota's lineup. It's a plug-in hybrid that gets incredible fuel economy and provides plenty of ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:8.2
Performance:7.7
Interior:8.1
Safety:10.0
Reliability: N/A
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Buick Verano Image
  • MSRP: $21,065 - $26,555
  • MPG: 21 City / 31 Hwy
#14

2017 Buick Verano

The 2017 Buick Verano is a premium sedan replete with upscale materials and a relaxing, smooth ride. Its thirsty engine is a little too ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.3
Critics' Rating:8.0
Performance:7.5
Interior:8.0
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 4_5
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Chevrolet Cruze Image
  • MSRP: $16,975 - $23,945
  • MPG: 28 City / 39 Hwy
#14

2017 Chevrolet Cruze

The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze checks off all the top requirements for what make a great compact car. The Cruze provides a comfortable interior, a ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.3
Critics' Rating:8.5
Performance:7.8
Interior:8.5
Safety:9.1
Reliability: 3_5
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Hyundai Ioniq Image
  • MSRP: $22,200 - $32,500
  • MPG: 57 City / 59 Hwy
#14

2017 Hyundai Ioniq

The all-new 2017 Hyundai Ioniq – available as a hybrid, an electric vehicle, and soon as a plug-in hybrid – offers an attractive base ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.3
Critics' Rating:8.9
Performance:8.6
Interior:8.2
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 2_5
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Subaru Impreza Image
  • MSRP: $18,395 - $24,595
  • MPG: 27 (Est) City / 36 (Est) Hwy
#14

2017 Subaru Impreza

Following a full redesign, the 2017 Subaru Impreza combines all-wheel-drive traction and a comfortable ride with a well-equipped and spacious cabin.  Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.3
Critics' Rating:8.7
Performance:7.8
Interior:8.5
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 2_5
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Toyota Corolla iM Image
  • MSRP: $18,750 - $19,490
  • MPG: 28 City / 36 Hwy
#14

2017 Toyota Corolla iM

The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM isn't very quick or nimble, but it offers a comfortable ride, plenty of cargo space, and an impressive standard ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.3
Critics' Rating:8.0
Performance:7.1
Interior:7.3
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 5_0
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Ford Fiesta Image
  • MSRP: $13,660 - $21,140
  • MPG: 27 City / 35 Hwy
#19

2017 Ford Fiesta

The 2017 Ford Fiesta is a good subcompact car if you’re looking for something inexpensive and stylish that also offers features such as smartphone ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.2
Critics' Rating:9.1
Performance:8.7
Interior:8.1
Safety:8.8
Reliability: 2_0
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Hyundai Accent Image
  • MSRP: $14,745 - $17,495
  • MPG: 26 City / 36 Hwy
#19

2017 Hyundai Accent

The 2017 Hyundai Accent provides a smooth ride, and hatchback models have excellent cargo space for the class. The Accent is backed by one ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.2
Critics' Rating:8.5
Performance:7.6
Interior:7.8
Safety:8.0
Reliability: 4_0
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Hyundai Elantra Image
  • MSRP: $17,150 - $22,750
  • MPG: 29 City / 38 Hwy
#19

2017 Hyundai Elantra

If you’re in the market for a compact car and the 2017 Hyundai Elantra isn’t on your list, it should be. The Elantra offers ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.2
Critics' Rating:8.3
Performance:7.8
Interior:8.4
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 3_5
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Kia Rio Image
  • MSRP: $14,165 - $20,905
  • MPG: 27 City / 36 Hwy
#19

2017 Kia Rio

The 2017 Kia Rio isn’t your typical subcompact car. It offers spry handling, a powerful engine, and an upscale interior that wouldn’t look out ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.2
Critics' Rating:8.5
Performance:7.8
Interior:8.5
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 3_5
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MINI Cooper Image
  • MSRP: $20,950 - $35,600
  • MPG: 28 City / 38 Hwy
#19

2017 MINI Cooper

The 2017 Mini Cooper Hardtop ranks well among subcompact cars due in large part to its performance. A trio of peppy turbocharged engines and ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.2
Critics' Rating:8.8
Performance:8.8
Interior:7.7
Safety:9.0
Reliability: 2_5
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Subaru WRX Image
  • MSRP: $26,695 - $39,995
  • MPG: 20 City / 27 Hwy
#19

2017 Subaru WRX

Few compact cars can match the 2017 Subaru WRX's performance chops. It has exceptionally potent turbocharged engines that make more power than most competitors, ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.2
Critics' Rating:8.6
Performance:9.1
Interior:7.4
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 2_5
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Toyota Corolla Image
  • MSRP: $18,500 - $22,680
  • MPG: 27 City / 35 Hwy
#19

2017 Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla has top-notch predicted reliability, advanced safety features that few other compact cars can match, good fuel economy, and a comfortable interior. ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.2
Critics' Rating:7.8
Performance:7.1
Interior:7.9
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 5_0
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Toyota Yaris iA Image
  • MSRP: $15,950 - $17,050
  • MPG: 32 City / 40 Hwy
#26

2017 Toyota Yaris iA

The Toyota Yaris iA has pleasant handling, a suave interior, ample standard features, and superb safety ratings. Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.1
Critics' Rating:8.0
Performance:8.0
Interior:8.0
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 3_5
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MINI Cooper Clubman Image
  • MSRP: $24,100 - $35,100
  • MPG: 25 City / 34 Hwy
#27

2017 MINI Cooper Clubman

The 2017 Mini Clubman should appeal to buyers because of its terrific passenger space, above-average cargo space, smooth ride, and athletic driving experience. However, ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.9
Critics' Rating:7.9
Performance:8.6
Interior:7.9
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 2_5
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Volkswagen Jetta Image
  • MSRP: $17,895 - $28,995
  • MPG: 28 City / 40 Hwy
#28

2017 Volkswagen Jetta

The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta boasts a spacious cabin and plenty of engine choices. Whether you want a low-priced fuel sipper, a safe family four-door, ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.8
Critics' Rating:7.7
Performance:8.0
Interior:8.2
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 3_0
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Chevrolet Spark Image
  • MSRP: $13,000 - $17,425
  • MPG: 31 City / 39 Hwy
#29

2017 Chevrolet Spark

The Chevrolet Spark has an interior that is loaded with technology features and decent materials, and its engine, while not potent, will get you ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.7
Critics' Rating:7.9
Performance:7.8
Interior:7.9
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 2_5
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Dodge Dart Image
  • MSRP: $16,995 - $24,395
  • MPG: 28 City / 41 Hwy
#29

2016 Dodge Dart

The 2016 Dodge Dart has spry handling, a smooth ride and a straightforward infotainment system, but its base engine doesn’t provide much power, reviewers ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.7
Critics' Rating:7.9
Performance:7.9
Interior:7.8
Safety:9.4
Reliability: 2_5
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Nissan Leaf Image
  • MSRP: $30,680 - $36,790
  • MPG: N/A
#29

2017 Nissan Leaf

Anyone looking for an electric car for daily driving will find the 2017 Nissan Leaf offers decent range, a roomy interior, and a hushed, ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.7
Critics' Rating:8.0
Performance:7.5
Interior:7.7
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 3_0
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Toyota Prius c Image
  • MSRP: $20,150 - $24,965
  • MPG: 48 City / 43 Hwy
#29

2017 Toyota Prius c

The 2017 Toyota Prius c gets excellent fuel economy estimates, but its performance is merely adequate, and its cabin materials are cheap.  Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.7
Critics' Rating:7.7
Performance:6.6
Interior:7.0
Safety:8.8
Reliability: 4_0
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Honda CR-Z Image
  • MSRP: $20,295 - $25,090
  • MPG: 31 City / 38 Hwy
#33

2016 Honda CR-Z

Reviewers praise the 2016 Honda CR-Z for its nimble handling, but its rear visibility is limited and it gets disappointing fuel economy for a ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.6
Critics' Rating:7.3
Performance:7.4
Interior:7.2
Safety:9.1
Reliability: 4_0
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Toyota Yaris Image
  • MSRP: $15,250 - $18,000
  • MPG: 30 City / 35 Hwy
#33

2017 Toyota Yaris

The 2017 Toyota Yaris has quality cabin materials and a large number of standard driver assistance features for the class. Still, its transmissions are ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.6
Critics' Rating:7.7
Performance:6.4
Interior:7.0
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 3_5
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Volkswagen Beetle Image
  • MSRP: $19,995 - $32,550
  • MPG: 24 City / 33 Hwy
#33

2017 Volkswagen Beetle

The chic 2017 Volkswagen Beetle is as nice to look at as it is to drive. But that vintage flair isn’t enough to elevate ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.6
Critics' Rating:7.9
Performance:7.5
Interior:7.4
Safety:8.8
Reliability: 3_0
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Nissan Sentra Image
  • MSRP: $16,990 - $24,990
  • MPG: 29 City / 37 Hwy
#36

2017 Nissan Sentra

Although the compact 2017 Nissan Sentra has midsize aspirations, its droning performance and aging design keep it from truly standing out in its class. ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.5
Critics' Rating:7.5
Performance:6.8
Interior:8.0
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 3_0
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Scion tC Image
  • MSRP: $19,385 - $20,535
  • MPG: 23 City / 31 Hwy
#36

2016 Scion tC

The 2016 Scion tC can't match the performance or interior quality of some rivals, auto writers say, but its spacious seats and user-friendly dashboard ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.5
Critics' Rating:7.6
Performance:7.3
Interior:7.6
Safety:9.0
Reliability: 3_0
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MINI Cooper Paceman Image
  • MSRP: $23,550 - $35,600
  • MPG: 27 City / 32 Hwy
#38

2016 MINI Cooper Paceman

The 2016 Mini Cooper Paceman's agile handling makes it fun to drive, critics say, but they add that you'll have to deal with a ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.4
Critics' Rating:7.6
Performance:8.1
Interior:6.7
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 2_5
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Hyundai Veloster Image
  • MSRP: $18,000 - $23,950
  • MPG: 27 City / 35 Hwy
#39

2016 Hyundai Veloster

With its aggressive and sporty exterior styling, one might expect the 2016 Hyundai Veloster to be a hot hatch ready to tear up the ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.2
Critics' Rating:7.5
Performance:7.1
Interior:7.4
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 2_5
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Smart Fortwo Image
  • MSRP: $14,650 - $20,900
  • MPG: 31 City / 38 Hwy
#39

2017 Smart Fortwo

The teeny Smart Fortwo can make commuting and parking in a crowded city look easy, however, its back-of-the-pack ranking and compromises in practicality make ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.2
Critics' Rating:7.6
Performance:7.6
Interior:7.2
Safety:8.9
Reliability: 2_0
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FIAT 500 Image
  • MSRP: $14,995 - $32,995
  • MPG: 31 City / 38 Hwy
#41

2017 FIAT 500

With three mix-n-match trims, the peppy 2017 Fiat 500 is praised for its personality and perky city driving. However, a lack of space and ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.1
Critics' Rating:7.6
Performance:7.6
Interior:6.6
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 2_0
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Nissan Versa Image
  • MSRP: $11,990 - $18,710
  • MPG: 27 City / 36 Hwy
#42

2017 Nissan Versa

The 2017 Nissan Versa is a no-frills subcompact car designed for those on a tight budget who don't need the amenities found in other vehicles. Though it ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:6.8
Critics' Rating:6.7
Performance:6.3
Interior:7.1
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 3_0
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Mitsubishi Lancer Image
  • MSRP: $17,795 - $22,095
  • MPG: 27 City / 34 Hwy
#43

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer

The 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer trails most of its competitors when it comes to cargo space, features, and ride quality. Apart from its available all-wheel ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:6.6
Critics' Rating:6.6
Performance:7.1
Interior:5.9
Safety:8.8
Reliability: 2_5
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Mitsubishi Mirage Image
  • MSRP: $12,995 - $16,995
  • MPG: 33 City / 41 Hwy
#44

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage

The basis behind the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage's sales pitch is thrift – it costs very little to buy, uses less fuel than most, and ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:5.8
Critics' Rating:5.4
Performance:6.1
Interior:5.9
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 2_5
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More on Small Cars

Affordable small cars include compact and subcompact cars, typically sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks.  At its heart, this class is about small, inexpensive cars, though performance models can be more than $30,000 with options. Because of their light weight, many small cars offer nimble handling and great fuel economy. Their size also makes them great city cars that are easy to park and maneuver in tight spaces.

The best small cars also distinguish themselves on the inside. They may be small on the outside, but critics look for those with competitive cargo room and enough rear-seat space for adults.

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Our rankings are based on analysis of third party reviews. Sometimes, we are unable to find enough reviews to publish a definitive ranking. Please check back later, as we are constantly updating our reviews.

Safety scores should only be compared between vehicles of similar size and weight. Larger, heavier vehicles generally provide more protection than smaller, lighter ones.